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Quite popular in the ’40s and ’50s was using mascots to promote products and brands. Couple these with classic cartoon and animated movie characters (some of which became mascots as well), and you have a whole other world of “friends” we’ve come to know very well. Many of these characters are as cherished as classic movie stars, creators and pacesetters.

Planters’ Mr. Peanut

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In the early 1900s, Italian immigrant Antonio Obici opened a fruit stand in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. To make his fruit stand different from the others, he spent $4.50 on a peanut roaster and sold roasted nuts along with his fruit. Back then, the roaster had to be continuously turned by hand to avoid burning the peanuts,

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Kellogg’s Toucan Sam (Froot Loops Cereal)

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“Follow my nose! It always knows!” This is the famous statement that Toucan Sam shouts out as he searches for the fruit-filled cereal he loves, Kellogg’s Froot Loops. Since 1963, he’s been the advertising mascot for cereal kids continue to enjoy. In the original commercials, Toucan Sam spoke the strange language of Pig Latin, and

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The Pink Panther

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The Pink Panther first appeared on film in the 1963 Blake Edwards movie, The Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers as the clumsy French detective, Inspector Clouseau. In the film, the term “Pink Panther” referred to a large diamond with a flaw at its center resembling a pink pouncing panther. This was the inspiration for the character

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Felix the Cat

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Felix the Cat is a lovable character that has been with us since the silent film era. The first incarnation of Felix is seen in Feline Follies – a 1919 Paramount Pictures short animated film. In the film, Felix goes by the name Tom Kat. There is confusion in Felix’s history regarding when he got

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Little Lulu Moppet: From Comic Strip to Big Screen

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A creation of Marjorie Henderson Buell, Little Lulu Moppet first appeared in 1935 in the Saturday Evening Post as the main character in a series of single panel cartoons. Buell was one of the few female cartoonists in the comic book and cartoon business. Little Lulu quickly became a public favorite, and continued to grace the

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Speed Racer: “Go Speed Go”

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Ever-popular Speed Racer originated in 1966 as a Japanese comic strip (Manga) called “Mach Go Go Go”. The creator, Tatsuo Yoshida, modeled Speed after Elvis Presley’s race car driver character from Viva Las Vegas, and the Mach 5 was inspired by James Bond’s Aston Martin from Goldfinger. In 1967, the comic strip was adapted into

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